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Florida GOP Leaders Criticize Crist Endorsement Of President Obama

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Florida’s former Republican Governor Charlie Crist is endorsing President Barack Obama. But, state GOP leaders say Crist’s announcement is nothing more than political opportunism.

In an op-ed article Sunday, Crist says President Obama is the “right leader for our nation and our state.” But, his support of the President garnered criticism from Republicans, Crist’s former party. That includes Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

“Charlie Crist, bless his heart, he’s just so desperate to be in the Parade, he’ll wear anybody’s costume,” remarked Putnam, when he responded to the endorsement on Fox News Sunday.

Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry also called the endorsement “repugnant,” saying it came at a time when Floridians are focused on preparing for Tropical Storm Isaac.

“It’s horrible! To have that endorsement ready to go, when you see a Tropical Storm coming, potentially a hurricane, and you see all these officials preparing," said Curry. "To let that endorsement fly on that day is just crass. He could have waited a few days, but that’s Charlie Crist.”

Crist is currently not affiliated with any party. He left the Republican Party to run as an independent in the 2010 U.S. Senate Race, but there’s speculation he could be switching to the Democratic Party and could possibly run in the gubernatorial race against Governor Rick Scott in 2014. Crist will also speak at next week’s Democratic National Convention.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.